Do less, not more, and be healthier and happier.
Story: Gillian Stevens
“I have an everyday religion that works for me. Love yourself first, and everything else falls into place.” —Lucille Ball
Although men and women are taking equal responsibility at home today, women still carry the load for managing children’s lives and running the household. While striving to be productive and efficient in professional and personal lives, women exhibit signs of stress-related conditions—hormonal imbalance, thyroid dysfunction, adrenal exhaustion, and other physical and mental disorders.
In his book, “The Hurried Woman Syndrome,” gynecologist Dr. Brent Bost says a busy lifestyle causes stress with symptoms like weight gain, low sex drive, moodiness, and fatigue. To further his findings, Dr. Jade Teta suggests women with stubborn belly fat adapt poorly to stress.
After the busy holidays add to these stress-reactive responses, women may choose to focus on well-being in the new year. We know we must care for ourselves; however, we feel guilt for our commitment to personal well-being waivers. While overindulging at holiday events and the increased demands on time and energy, we have less time for ourselves. It’s time to slow down and reset our focus on managing stress and increasing wellness.
Dr. Teta suggests hormones affect how fat is stored. The good news is, another hour in bed may be better than another on the treadmill. As we age, hormonal burnout occurs with decreased progesterone and estrogen. We are carbohydrate-sensitive because estrogen affects how we process them. We are more susceptible to cortisol and belly fat. He recommends more rest, which lowers cortisol and balances hormones, resulting in less belly fat.
Do less and be healthier and happier:
- Be a “selfist”
The term selfist means to be “for” ourselves. It’s not selfish and, in fact, is necessary. Slowing down and disconnecting from the world quiets the chattering ego, allowing us access to the wisdom of intuition, creating space for much-needed awareness and guidance leading to change.
- Listen to your body
Don’t rely on medical tests and procedures to determine your health. Intuitively, we know something doesn’t feel right, and we need to make a change. Focus on what health looks and feels like and forget what isn’t working by listing a litany of complaints. Listen to what you say to others and what they say to you. There is wisdom in this. The suggestions and advice you give others may be a message for you.
- Choose to feel good
The late W. Clement Stone, a businessman and philanthropist, suggested we choose to interpret everything as positive. Do everything with an attitude of appreciation, pride, and learn to laugh at yourself when you make a mistake—mistakes create corrections leading to success. Laugh more, have fun, and watch your life improve.
- Detox and rejuvenate
Eliminate thoughts, food, and substances toxic to your body and mind, and focus on building health. Eat healthy, hydrate, rest, and move. Schedule self-care activities like massage, spa visits, and naps in weekly activities.
Walking lowers cortisol and relaxes you while enjoying nature. Dr. Teta advocates less exercise, less eating or more exercise, more eating as opposed to the more exercise, less eating way of weight management. His strategies focus on working with hormones and taking it easier, resulting in a less stress-reactive body.
This year commit to doing less and set the intention for a happier, healthier 2019.
About the writer
Gillian Stevens is a retired school guidance counselor who realized her dream of becoming an author, writing “Explore, Transform, Flourish: Support and Hope for Those Who Help Others (How Professionals Keep It Together).”